FORT LEE, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — Students had to head to school on Saturday in Fort Lee, N.J., as part of scheduled time to make up snow days this past winter.
As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported, district is holding sessions this Saturday, March 22; and next Saturday, March 29.
The last time high school senior David Lee showed up to school at 8 a.m. on a Saturday, it was for punishment.
“There was one time where I had Saturday detention freshman year,” Lee said. “So that’s the only other time I came to school on Saturday.”
But this particular Saturday, Lee and all the other students in Fort Lee were in school for a half day of class.
“Going to school to study on a Saturday is ridiculous,” Lee said. “I don’t like it. I really don’t.”
The district had only budgeted for two snow days, but used six during the rough winter. So in order to get the 180 school days required by the state, the board of education decided to sacrifice a few Saturdays instead of taking away spring break.
“I would rather have, like, Saturday school than have my whole spring break taken away,” said high school sophomore Tiome Green.
Even interim school Supt. Paul Saxton clocked in.
“Typically, you end up probably not accommodating every group, and you can never shoot for that,” he said. “You do what’s in the best interest of the kids and what you feel is the best interest of the district.
Mandatory staffers were also at work, including crossing guard Herb Greenberg. He said he didn’t mind, but could think of a place he would rather be.
“Back in bed,” he said.
And as for parents, mom Renu Achayra was giddy.
“I have worked every other weekend for seven years,” she said. “It’s OK to go to school on a Saturday.”
And one student agreed too.
“I think school on Saturday is actually a great initiative,” said high school junior Shuvham Surana. “It’s basically an opportunity to just learn a little more.”
The interim superintendent said student attendance Saturday was 85 percent, and staff attendance was 92 percent.
Schools and district offices were open from 8 a.m. until noon.
And even with the two days of Saturday school, the students will lose two days of their spring break.
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